Monday, November 29, 2010

Elizabeth Dunn, et al

Principle 3: Buy Many Small Pleasures Instead of Few Big Ones

Adaptation is a little bit like death: we fear it, fight it, and sometimes forestall it, but in the end, we always lose. And like death, there may be benefits to accepting its inevitability.  If we inevitably adapt to the greatest delights that money can buy, than it may be better to indulge in a variety of frequent, small pleasures—double lattes, uptown pedicures, and high thread-count socks— rather than  pouring money into large purchases, such as sports cars, dream vacations, and front-row concert tickets. This is not to say that there's anything wrong with large purchases, but as long as money is limited by its failure to grow on trees, we may be better off devoting our finite financial resources to purchasing frequent doses of lovely things rather than infrequent doses of lovelier things. Indeed, across many different domains, happiness is more strongly associated with the frequency than the intensity of people's positive affective experiences

--From "If Money Doesn't Make You Happy Then You Probably Aren't Spending It Right," by Elizabeth Dunn (University of British Columbia), Daniel T. Gilbert (Harvard University), Timothy D. Wilson (University of Virginia), 2010.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Geoff Colvin

Deliberate practice, as described in Talent is Overrated:
-It's designed specifically to improve performance
-It can be repeated a lot
-Feedback on results is continuously available.
-It's highly demanding mentally.
-It isn't much fun.

If it seems a bit depressing that the most important thing you can do to improve performance is no fun, take consolation in this fat: It must be so. If the activities that lead to greatness were easy and fun, then everyone would do them and they would not distinguish the best from the rest. The reality that deliberate practice is hard can even be seen as good new. It means that most people won't do it. So your willingness to do it will distinguish you all the more.

John A. Sloboda

There is absolutely no evidence of a 'fast track' for high achievers.

-as quoted in Talent is Overrated

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Arthur Conan Doyle

My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplaces of existence. These little problems help me to do so.

--Sherlock Holmes in "The Red-Headed League"

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Andrea Cecon

traffic jam—
my thoughts
still in motion

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gyorgy Sebok

Create excitement. Don't get excited.

Gyorgy Sebok, long-time friend and colleague of cellist Janos Starker

Benjamin Franklin

He that can have patience can have what he will.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dalai Lama

I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Roald Dahl

Very carefully, I now began to unwrap the waxed paper from around the doctor's present, and when I had finished, I saw before me the most enormous and beautiful pie in the world. It was covered all over, top, sides, and bottom, with rich golden pastry. I took a knife from beside the sink and cut out a wedge. I started to eat it with my fingers, standing up. It was a cold meat pie. The meat was pink and tender with no fat or gristle in it, and there were hard-boiled eggs buried like treasures in several different places. The taste was absolutely fabulous. When I had finished the first slice, I cut another and ate that, too.

from Danny The Champion of the World